GSP II supports Local Economic Development in Steve Tshwete Local Municipality
“Township revitalisation is one of the key game-changers – in townships, unemployment is deeply felt and we need to identify challenges and adopt new strategies for growth,” said Cllr BJ Tolo, Executive Mayor at Steve Tshwete Local Municipality (STLM) at the official launch of the municipality’s Township Revitalization Strategy on the 27th of November 2020 in Middleburg. The launch included the showcasing and opening of key catalyst projects that the municipality has implemented thus far to support township businesses.
Through the assistance of the GIZ Governance Support Programme (GSP II) since 2019, GSP II, the STLM developed a Township Revitalisation Strategy which presents a framework to develop township economies and to address key challenges within these economies. The vision is to develop townships into productive inclusive economic development.. The launch of the Township Revitalisation Strategy aimed to introduce interventions and programmes the municipality has put in place to support township businesses – two of these initiatives were also supported by GSP II, namely; a One-Stop Business Service Centre and a Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) Containerised Business Infrastructure Support Programme.
The One-Stop Business Service Centre is an all-inclusive business services support centre that will support SMMEs with advisory services, enterprise development, incubation funding, financing and market linkages. On the other hand, the SMME Container Support Programme, 24 Grade B containers handed over by the GSP II to STLM to be donated to local SMMEs, aims to assist township businesses to formalise and have a place of operation particularly in the rural wards of the STLM. This initiative will address the high infrastructure demand and challenges.
The Executive Mayor added that “at STLM, we remain optimistic that the desired outcomes will be realised if we continue to create an enabling environment where township enterprises can thrive”. The launch also included the official opening of 7 Mhluzi Node D Industrial Workshops which were constructed in partnership with local mining houses. The workshops will house emerging businesses operating in areas not designated for business purposes particularly in the Autobody and Motor Repair, Manufacturing and Textile industries. The municipality has committed to ensuring that the local economy is revitalised and businesses are boosted to generate more sales and recover from the Covid-19 Lockdown.